Dasra, India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation launched the "Power of Play" report highlighting the effectiveness of sports as a development tool. The report outlines the transformative impact of sports on improving education, health, gender equity and employment outcomes in India.
According to the report, 1 in 3 children enrolled in school does not reach grade 10; 1 in every 4 adolescent girls is married and 70% employers find Indian youth unemployable despite a degree. Dasra’s report establishes the impact of free play in childhood on improved academic achievement among children; the power of supportive peer group and positive role models in retaining girls in school, thus avoiding early marriage and pregnancy and the influence of sports in instilling key life skills vital to gain and retain employment. Despite these proven benefits, 86% of all youth, do not have access to a playground in India.
“Sport has the potential to be so much more than just play and games - Indian non-profits such as Magic Bus, Naz Foundation, Special Olympics Bharat, ICRW have proven that well designed and closely monitored sport programs can achieve multiple development outcomes.” Said, Pakzan Dastoor, Manager, Dasra, “Strategic philanthropists and funders must approach sport as a unique, cost-effective tool that promotes healthy behavior, encourages education, fosters gender equity, enhances inclusion and fuels economic development.”
Over the last six months, Dasra’s team mapped the sector, reviewed over 70 non-profits and interviewed key sector experts to outline the cornerstones for building the sport for development ecosystem in India. The report found four best practices that can increase the participation of Indian population in sport - Creating a safe and enabling environment by transforming existing infrastructure and mindsets, delivering a quality sport experience, building evidence to demonstrate collective impact and promoting role models for youth engagement. The report also highlights the top ten Indian non-profits that are working to promote these best practices and have the most innovative and scalable models to create large scale change in this sector.
In a special message in the report, P.K Dev, Sports Secretary, India, commends Dasra’s report for providing clarity on how sport can support human development and for giving clear recommendations and concrete benefits from investing in high performing non-profit organizations.
The ‘Power of Play’ report outlines that effective sport for development programs that are designed, managed and monitored closely, are the most cost effective way to positively impact discriminated populations like out-of school children, adolescent girls and persons with disabilities.
Over the next few months, Dasra will bring together multiple stakeholders including philanthropists and policy makers to bring awareness, funding, networks and resources to non profits in the sport for development sector to positively impact millions of lives.
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